As of Wednesday, April 18, 2018
TOPPENISH State Supreme Court Jjustice speaking Youth justice forum Washington State Supreme Court Justice Steven Gonzalez will deliver the keynote speech during the annual Yakima Valley Youth and Justice Forum at Heritage University. The forum for middle, high school and college students takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday, April 20.
Local law enforcement agencies, including the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office and several police chiefs from cities in the Valley as well as those from the state and federal level will participate in the forum.
The Youth and Justice Fo-rum is designed to educate students from under-represented communities about professions and em-ployment opportunities in the legal system; second, to enhance students’ knowledge and education of law; and third, to help build trust between youth and those in the justice system.
New this year will be a panel of lawyers and law school students talking to college students about law school applications, attend-ing law school, and provid-ing information about law careers. The panel will be moderated by Federal Court Clerk, Francisco Carriedo.
Kimberly Bellamy-Thompson, Heritage University assistant professor of criminal justice said the forum is an opportunity to introduce young people to the personal and profession-al sides of justice system leaders.
“These personal connec-tions are meaningful. The Youth and Justice Forum will give students a better understanding of the justice system and the wide range of career opportunities the entire system has to offer,” she said
Steve González was ap-pointed to the Washington State Supreme Court effective January 1, 2012, and subsequently won a contested race for a six-year term. Before joining the Supreme Court, Justice González served for ten years as a trial judge on the King County Superior Court hearing crim-inal, civil, juvenile, and family law cases. In 2015, Justice González and the other Washington Supreme court judges heard oral ar-guments for three cases at Heritage University visited Heritage University as part of the “traveling court” program.